Friday 6 December 2019

All-Ireland quarter-final double-header unfair on fans

Liam Ryan signs autographs for supporters after Wexford's qualifier win over Waterford. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Liam Ryan signs autographs for supporters after Wexford's qualifier win over Waterford. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Michael McCarthy

There's something strikingly unfair about hurling fans being without tickets for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals in Thurles.

It looks like the GAA will have to turn away customers because of the decision to the play the games as a double-header in Semple Stadium.

Wexford are particularly aggrieved by their allocation because while they were trekking through the qualifiers and thrilling the country, the tickets for Sunday were being snapped up by the other three counties.

If Croke Park can't be opened because of a phantom Garth Brooks concert, then surely these games could have been played as stand-alone fixtures.

Besides the inherent unjustness of Tipperary playing an All-Ireland quarter-final in a venue they call home, and train in twice a week, it's hard enough for fans to stomach not getting a ticket for a game, but it's a lot harder when it's because half the stadium is full with fans there for a different match.

Sell-outs are a rare enough occurrence in the GAA these days. Surely when it can be avoided, we should do everything we can to get the fans who want to be there into the games.

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